4-Ingredients Caramel Flan or Quesillo Venezolano
Whether you call it Caramel Flan or Quesillo, this 4-ingredient Venezuelan dessert has a firm but creamy texture with a decadent caramel flavor. Learn how to make it with this recipe.
Today I’m sharing a Quesillo recipe, this is a Venezuelan dessert also called Caramel Flan (even though it’s not exactly the same).
It’s made with just 4 ingredients (5 if you count the vanilla) and it’s so crazy easy to make. Oh, and it tastes so absolutely good!
What makes Quesillo or Caramel Flan so Special?
In the Venezuelan holidays, there is a dessert that can not be missed in any Venezuelan birthday party: the Quesillo (AKA Caramel Flan).
For Venezuelan people, the cake can never go alone! You should always have your perfect trio: a little piece of cake, little piece of jelly and little piece of quesillo; otherwise, it’s not a real Venezuelan party. LOL.
But today, let’s stop at the quesillo for a minute; That delicious traditional Venezuelan dessert that is so fascinating for adults and children and that has a special place in the heart of all Venezuelans. You could say it’s one of the favorite Venezuelan recipes in any celebration.
I learned to make it with my mom a few years ago. It is like any Caramel Flan but it tastes a bit different and some ingredients vary. It’s awesomely easy to make but it takes its time to cook.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m partly Venezuelan even though I was born in Brazil. So, I thought about making some dishes and desserts that are traditional in Venezuela and that I use to make a lot.
How to make This Quesillo or Flan
Want to know how?… here we go…
- Sweetened condensed milk – It creates the creamy and silky texture that makes it special.
- Whole milk (I use the same can as the condensed milk)
- Vanilla extract *optional.
- A metallic recipient with lid (like a cookie can)
Although this is the original recipe, you can be creative and make variations of this recipe:
- You can replace the whole milk with coconut milk and then add a few tablespoons of grated coconut.
- You can add cocoa to the milk to make it a delicious chocolate quesillo.
- You can replace the whole milk with Orange juice and add 1 teaspoon of orange zest.
Creativity is the limit.
1. Pour the condensed milk into a bowl
2. Then fill the same can with whole milk and pour it into the condensed milk
3. Add the eggs and mix it (with a whisk, blender, mini pinner, etc) very well.
Leave it aside.
4. For the caramel, in a small saucepan place the sugar over low heat.
5. Leave it until it starts melting. It will make some crumbs at some point but in the end, it will be liquid.
6. When it is completely melted, immediately pour it in the metallic recipient.
7. Spread it all over the recipient, on the sides too. Be careful because it is very hot.
8. Once it’s done, pour the milk mixture over the caramel.
9. Cover it with the lid.
10. Cook it on a double boiler. Place it in a big pot with a little water. Make sure the water doesn’t cover more than ¼ of the height of the metallic recipient (not the pot).
11. Cover the pot and bring it to a simmer over low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
You don’t need to check out the quesillo while it’s cooking but just keep an eye on the level of water.
If you need to, pour in hot water. Never add in cold water as it drops the overall temperature.
12. When time is up, just wait until cools down, uncover it and place a plate instead of the lid and turn it over to unmold it.
And voilà… Readyyyyyy!
Because of the shape of my dish (I didn’t have a better one back then), it looked like it was going down in the center but it’s fine.
Serve and enjoy!!!!
Fun Facts About this Recipe
Let’s talk about some facts about the Venezuelan quesillo that you probably didn’t know:
- Its preparation is of 100% Venezuelan origin and in its purest form is composed of a blend of: beaten eggs, condensed milk, vanilla essence, and liquid milk.
- It should not be confused with normal flan since the quesillo is prepared with whole eggs and the normal flan only carries the egg yolks.
- It is called “quesillo” (it’s like cheesy) because of the porosity of the dessert, which is reminiscent of the traditional holes of a Swiss cheese.
- Tradition tells that in each house there is a unique quesillo and that none will resemble the previous one, either because there are those who put more ingredients or unique ingredients following a family recipe.
What cooking method do you use for this Flan?
There are 2 ways we usually cook the Quesillo Flan.
You can either oven-bake it or on the stove in a water bath over medium-low heat. Both ways work perfectly but the texture of the quesillo or Spanish flan will be slightly different.
When you bake it, the overall texture of the quesillo is more solid, firm, and smother. No air bubbles form. But when you cook it on the stove on a double boiler, it gets silkier and lots of little tiny air holes or bubbles form like in the swiss cheese.
The flavor though is the same.
Note that for this particular recipe the stove double boiler should be a mold inside a pot (and not on top) and covered so the temperature stays constant. I’m showing this method in this recipe.
What mold do you use to make this recipe?
Here comes the fun part. I’ve seen this recipe made in almost any container that can handle the heat. You can definitely use a large flan mold if you happen to have one. But you can use oven-safe glassware as long as it’s deep enough, cake mold if it’s deep enough, and as I did, you can use cookie cans.
What you need to keep in mind is that water from the double boiler cannot come into the flan mixture. So for example, you can use a deep cake pan on a water bath in the oven covering the pan very well with foil or high-temperature silicone lids. The same goes for glassware.
On the stove, it’s important to make sure the level of water will never spill inside the mixture, you can accomplish this by keeping the water level low, the temperature stable at medium heat, and covering well the pan.
But using a flan mold makes it easier since it brings a sealing system. The cookie tin can also work very well but I still have to keep an eye on the water level.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
A dessert flan is made of eggs; sweetened condensed milk, creme or whole milk, and flavorings such as vanilla, orange, coconut, or coffee. Because egg-based custard is delicate, flan is baked in a water bath in a pot or in the oven.
You can replace the whole milk with coconut milk and then add a few tablespoons of grated coconut. Add cocoa to the milk to make it a delicious chocolate quesillo. Or replace the whole milk with Orange juice and add 1 teaspoon of orange zest.
Good flan or quesillo is supposed to be creamy and smooth, with a soft silky texture. The sauce should be a rich golden caramel, with no hint of a burnt flavor at all.
More Venezuelan Desserts to try
If you enjoyed this Quesillo or Venezuelan Caramel Flan recipe, you might also love these other Venezuelan dessert recipe ideas:
4-Ingredients Caramel Flan or Venezuelan Quesillo.
- 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 10 oz Whole Milk
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/3 cup Sugar
- In a medium bowl mix Condensed milk, whole milk, eggs, and vanilla.
- Mix well with a whisk. You could also use a blender. Set aside
- Pour your sugar into a saucepan and take it to simmer over low heat to make Caramel. It will start melting. Some crumbs will form but evenctually it will get liquid. Wait for it to be completely melted and get a beautiful amber color. Remove from heat.
- Immediately pour your caramel in your cookie can, and start spreading the caramel all over. Be careful since it’s really, really hot.
- Next, pour your milk mixture in the cookie can. Cover it with the lid.
- Cook it on bain-marie (double boiler) over medium heat for about 45 min. Use a big pot and put your cookie can inside, add in water to the big pot until it gets 1/4 of the can (not the pot). Cover the pot with its lid too.
- Past the 45 minutes, remove from heat and let it cool untill warm but not cool. You should be able to hold it with your hands and still feel it warm.
- Once it’s warm, replace the can lid with a dish or cake stand and turn it over to unmold it.
- Serve and enjoy!
What do you think???? Yummmmy, isn’t it?
Let me know your thought below in the comments!
Here are some of my favorite flan recipes from my favorite bloggers:
- Flan Cake by Camila over at Pies & Tacos.
- Creamy Caramel Flan by Taste of Home.
- Orange Coconut Flan by Erika over at The Crumby Kitchen.
If you enjoyed this delicious Quesillo Caramel Flan recipe you might also love these too:
If you found this recipe interesting don’t forget to PIN and share it with friends!
What do you think, doesn’t it look delicious or what?????
Til' next time...
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This recipe was so good! Very sweet and rich. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much, I appreciate the kind words!
I don’t know if it’s just me doing it wrong but aren’t you supposed to add some water to the sugar to make the caramel? I did it the way you wrote and by the time I poured it in the tin I couldn’t spread it it got stuck and was very hard and ruined my pan.
I know there are people who add water but I don’t and never have for the flan and never ruined any pan. I’m so sorry for what happened to you. I always use stainless steel pans because they handle the heat better. Caramel reaches super high temperatures. Also, it’s good to remove it from heat as soon as they get golden and all sugar dissolved and pour it on the final pan right away, otherwise, it gets too hard to handle and stuck. The main reason we don’t use water in the caramel is because the flan mixture has milk which contains water which tends to thin the caramel while baking, we need the caramel to hold and not dilute as much while baking. When we unmold the flan the caramel is a lot thinner than when we pour it. Another rip is that when I finish pouring all the caramel into the tin can, I immediately add hot water (like really hot water) this helps dissolve the caramel quicker. Again, I’m so sorry.
I only have a 7 inch cookie tin. Do you think that will mess up the cooking time too much? What do you recommend?
Hi Jesica, No, I don’t think that will affect much. My cookie tin is around the same size and the quesillo comes out perfectly. The most important thing is that the water doesn’t come in the tin and that your pot doesn’t run out of water. If when doubt, cook a little bit longer.
Hope this helps!
Thank you so much for this recipe! It was very detailed, and I followed every step. I love the idea of the cookie can as I have never figured out how to do this method and not have water inside the container. Living in Canada, I miss home, and thanks to you I now have a little piece of home to shared with my loved ones! Muito brigado! Muchas gracias!
Hi Kris, thank you so much for your feedback. I so appreciate it. Yes, I use cookie tin cans for this a lot. BUT you still have to be careful with the water level because it could still slip in the can.
BTW are you from Brazil or Venezuela?
hi just wondering what this could be served with? like cream or fruit or custard or something?? love the recipe
Thank you so much for stopping by!
This recipe is very sweet by itself so I don’t recommend adding anything else that is sweet. In our country, we usually have the quesillo alone, it’s by itself a dessert that diesn’t need a companion. However in birthday parties is part of a weird trio: the cake, hello and the quesillo LOL. That is for sure a sugar rush. I have never tried serving with fruit so that would be something to try!
Hope this helps!
Such a great recipe! I followed the recipe to make it yesterday. So yummy!
Thank you so much! Glad to hear that!
Thank you for saving me at every holiday gathering!!
Thank you so much for your kind words, So glad you like this recipe!!!
Have a wonderful Christmas!
This recipe was so good! Very sweet and rich. It was fairly simple, as the hardest part was just melting the sugar. Loved it a lot!
Thank you so much for your feedback and I am glad you liked it!
Thank you so much! I am married to a Venezuelan, your recipes have been saving me at every holiday gathering especially this one, it is the timeless favorite. Thank you for saving me at every holiday gathering!!
Thank you so much Felipa! This comment made my day! I’m super happy that this recipe has been enjoyed at your home!
Have a wonderful Holiday!!
Look so easy! I try it many times but it’s not turn out great like this. I will follow your recipe this time. Thank for sharing!
This is a super easy dessert! I’m sure you will love it!
I’ve never made a flan but after seeing your recipe I’m definitely questioning that!! It looks so good! And everyone loves caramel ?
Thank you so so much!!!!
This recipe is soooo easy! I had to make it with a cookie can but if you have any flan pan, go for it LOL. I couldn’t find any at that time. But is So crazy easy to make LOL. Just be very careful with the caramel, it’s very very hot!
Best of luck!
I’ve tried to make flan and failed on more than one occasion. This recipe was easy to follow and delicious. For the sugar I cooked on med-high heat and constantly stirred, and it turned into Carmel in exactly 7-10 min. I didn’t have a flan pan so I used an oven safe pot with an 8in radius and tightly secured the lid with aluminum foil and it worked out perfectly. Will definitely be making again.
I am absolutely thrilled to hear that! Thank you so much for sharing your experience making this recipe it’s so useful. I don’t have a flan pan either so I use cookie cans BUT your idea workd too. I’ll try that next time. Also, my mom uses those cute cake pans with the hole in the center (don’t remember the exact name) cover with foil and cook it in the oven also bouble boiler method. I haven’t tried it yet but it sure works for my mom.
Thank you so much agan for stopping by and leaving your feedback. I so appreciate it!
It’s a Bundt pan you are referring to.
In this case, I used a cookie tin can, like those butterscotch cookies cans because in Venezuela we use special pans for quesillos called “quesilleras” that come with lids sealed very tight and when we don’t have one handy, cookie cans do the work LOL. I like them because the lids close well and since I’m making it in a bain-marie, water won’t go in. You could use a Bundt pan but you would need to be very careful with the level of the water so your flan doesn’t get damaged by water coming inside the bundt pan.
If you have or can get your hands on any type of 5-7″ pan that can be sealed and used in bain-marie, you can definitely go for it.
Hope this helps!
Wow… It’s look so delicious. I want try it. Thanks you for your recipe.
Thank you so much for stopping by!
What is the qty of sugar to be mixed with the ingredients. Is it 1/3rd cup used for caramel only n no sugar to be added.
The sure is only for the caramel. The base of the flan is condensed milk so it’s sweet enough. If you add more sugar it will end up way too sweet. The caramel has an impact on the sweetness of the flan anyway.
Hope this helps and clarifies!
Why aren’t there measurements?
Hi! So sorry about that there was a problem with the recipe card. It’s fixed now! Also thank you for letting me know!
Wow, I cant believe its only made of 4 ingredients, looks mouthwatering~
Yessss so easy to make and so so tasty!!!
I love flan, but had never made my own. I tried this recipe and it was wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing!
Thank you so so much Jessica!
Hi! I made this (from another recipe) for my husband’s family as quesillo was a traditional Christmas dessert. It turned out great but I have a question about unmolding. My recipe said to keep it in the fridge until ready to eat which was good but a lot of the sugar was a hard solid mass that remained stuck to the pan. Is this normal?
Glad you like quesillo, it’s one of our very favorite dessert ever. So as for your question I’ll talk from my own experience which might not be everyone’s technique. I never put my quesillo in the fridge before unmold it. The reason is exactly what you described. Caramel harden and you will never be able to unmold it without breaking it. What I do is waiting until is warm (almost room temperature) and unmold it. At this point the caramel should still be liquid and come out with the quesillo. There is always a risk of braking it because it all depends on the cooking time, the amount of liquid vs eggs, etc but I’m pretty sure if the quesillo is firm enough will handle the unmolding process. Also make sure your pan is not too tall compared to the amount of quesillo mixture, this reduces the chances of braking it. Hope I made sense and can help you make another delicious quesillo.
Thanks for stopping by
Soy venezolana y hago el quesillo igual que tu, solo que como decia la compatriota, lo dejo enfriar en la lata y lo meto a la nevera por al menos 4 horas antes de voltearlo al plato. Gracias por compartir la receta para los que no la conocen. Nadie se puede perder de nuestro delicioso quesillo ;-)
Hola Patricia! Que encanto que pasaras y me dejaras tu comentario. La verdad es que nunca he esperado tanto. Siempre me ha dado como miedito que el caramelo se endurezca mucho en algunas partes y me rompa el quesillo. Lo voy a intentar pues quiero hacerlo de nuevo y actualizar las fotos. Estas son de mis primeras fotos y la verdad es que les falta jajaja.
Gracias por tu aporte, me encanta!!!
Tambien tienes razon en una cosa, me encanta compartir en el blog nuestros sabores. Tambien tengo raices brasileras asi que de cuando en cuando tambien saco algo del baul! El quesillo es uni de mis favoritos y la verdad es que nadie debe quedarse sin probarlo!
De nuevo muchisimas gracias por pasar por aca!
HELP!! I want to make this, this weekend but I dont have a cookie tin like this anymore what can I use?? Will a deep cake pan with foil on top work??
Hi Kathy, So glad you like it. Yes you could use cake pan and foil but you need to make super sure that water can not come in into the pan because it would screw it up! I have never done it like that but I guess if it’s sealed it should be fine. Let me know how it goes!
Hi, I’m full Venezuelan we make the recipe just like you do, but after we let it cook on the stove we leave it in the can and put it in the fridge, it makes it a little harder so that it looks just like a cheese, thats why its called a quesillo. Just a tip :)
I love learning about traditional dishes… this looks really delicious. Pinned thanks so much for sharing it with us on foodie friday.
Glad you like it Diane… It is yummy indeed! =D Thanks so much for your sweet visit!
This looks delicious! I’m so happy to have discovered your blog… I grew up in Brazil, and love South American flavors.
Hi MB, So glad you found me! I was born in Brazil =D but lived most of my life in Venezuela! I do love South American flavors too. I miss them so much! Thanks so much for your sweet and lovely visit!
So delicious! Thanks so much for linking up to Freedom Fridays!
Thanks Jamie! Have a wonderful week!
This looks delicious! Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop!
Kathy Shea Mormino
The Chicken Chick
Thanks so much Kathy, glad you like it! Have a lovely day!
En puerto Rico se le dice flan de leche me gusto con una Lara de galleta
Hola Evelyn, creo que si habia oido ese nombre, tengo familia colombiana y alla le dicen leche asada jajaja, tantos nombres pero igual de delicioso cierto??? Lo de la lata pues improvisación pues no tenia lo que en Venezuela llaman quesillera. Pero la lata funciona bien =D Gracias por tomarte el tiempo de visitar y dejar un cariñito en comentarios!
This is really something super unique
I LOVE it
Thank you for the tutorial, I’ saving it
Coming from you I’ll take it as a huge compliment! Thanks so much! =D Glad to have you visiting!
Oh my, that looks good! Thanks so much for sharing with the Let’s Get Real party.
Thanks Gaye! I’m so happy you like it!… It’s really delicious!!!
This looks fantastic … I love how it is cooked. It’s like magic how it turns out so pretty. Pinning this one. Thanks for the wonderful recipe :)
Thanks Ann! your so sweet! I appreciate the lovely comment!
Mmm… I want to eat this now! What an interesting recipe- I can’t wait to try it out! Pinned! Thanks for sharing with us at Much Ado About Monday. :)
~Emily @ Huckleberry Love
Yayyyy thanks, so glad you like it! You should definitely try it… you will love it!
GRACIAS POR RECORDAR EL POSTRE QUE MÁS SE COME EN VENEZUELA Y QUE CUANDO YO VIVÍ LO PREPARABA CON MUCHA FRECUENCIA. ME GUSTÓ MUCHO LO DEL MOLDE DE LAS GALLETAS PUES SE CIERRA Y NO LE PENETRA EL AGUA….UN CALIDO SALUDO DESDE COLOMBIA
Imaginate si me voy a olvidar de el. Es uno de mis favoritos! Creo que en Colombia se llama leche asada cierto? Me encanta y se prepara en casa con Bastante frecuencia! Es mas ya me antoje y quiero hacer uno jajajaja! Gracias a ti por visitarme y dejarme un cariñito en el blog!
Oh my! These certainly look tasty! :)
Please tell me you ship these? I am going to attempt this…if it looks half as pretty as yours, I will call it a success! Thanks for linking up to the Friday Follow Along and making me HUNGRY :)
Thanks for linking up at the TGIF link party last week! This looks delicious, Cami, I will definitely have to try it sometime! I hope you’ll stop by tonight and link up again!
Have a great day!
me encanta que lo haces en el gas y no al horno! amo el quesillo :-)
Oh my goodness, this looks yummy! I’m gonna have to try this recipe this weekend. Thanks for sharing!
We make flan, but I may give this a try next time. It looks terrific! Stopped by from the TGIF Blog Party and I’m following you on Twitter :) Have a great weekend!
Lydia from http://www.lydiasflexitariankitchen.com